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Development of a new production technology to temper vacuum coated glass

In the framework of the project, the plan is to develop and implement a commercially feasible product - tempered greenhouse glass with anti-reflective (ar) coating for the greenhouse industry. A unique and innovative (state-of-the-art) technology will be developed for the product.

GROGLASS has developed a new product - glass with an anti-reflective (AR) coating to increase the light transmittance parameters of the glass. The product is developed to meet the needs of the greenhouse industry. The current GROGLASS AR product results in 8% more Photo-synthetically Active Radiation (PAR) light transmittance into the greenhouse (in the 400-700 nm wavelength range), compared with regular glass. The PAR light is useful for terrestrial plants in the process of photosynthesis and therefore the extra PAR light guaranties 8% more yield for the horticultural industry. But the product is not tempered. Since the Dutch greenhouse industry prefers that all the glass used for the greenhouse glazing be tempered, it is critical to offer the market the tempered anti-reflective product, without changing its durability and optical features. There is no such product in the market with an anti-reflection coating. It is cost ineffective to temper the glass before applying the AR coating because of the high costs of cutting the tempered glass according to the client order. The main problem to be solved in the framework of this project is to develop a technology that ensures that the anti-reflection coating features are not changed during the tempering process. At the moment research work is needed to develop such technology. The main problem with the tempering process is that heat treatment radically changes chemical and physical composition of the coating layers, as well as their thicknesses, which respectively will lead to the changes in optical characteristics of the whole product. Within the project, a completely new product-tempered anti-reflective glass is planned to be developed, ensuring that both improved light transmittance and additional hardiness due to the tempering, will not result in a decrease of PAR light transmission improvement figures. Also the lifetime of the product will not be reduced and will result in a commercially competitive product. PROJECT TASKS In order to meet the above mentioned objective, the following research tasks have to be fulfilled: - Measurements of the optical features and the microstructure of the anti-reflective coating, produced under different sputtering conditions; - Tempering the samples using different furnace and quench conditions; - Carry out research on the microstructure and optical feature changes in order to understand the impact of the tempering process on the coating and structure of glass; - Carry out laboratory weathering tests in order to understand the impact of the tempering process on durability; - Adjust the initial modelling parameters according to the findings; - Carry out field tests in order to correlate the laboratory results to the real environmental conditions in different weather conditions - in LATVIA and in THE NETHERLANDS. PROJECT RESULTS We expect to develop a new commercially feasible tempered anti-reflective greenhouse glass product, addressed to the greenhouse industry and the state-of-the-art technology for its production, which will not affect the effectiveness and profitability of the production process.
Acronym: 
TEMPERGROGLASS
Project ID: 
4 531
Start date: 
01-10-2008
Project Duration: 
14months
Project costs: 
210 000.00€
Technological Area: 
Glass
Market Area: 
Manufacturing

Raising the productivity and competitiveness of European businesses through technology. Boosting national economies on the international market, and strengthening the basis for sustainable prosperity and employment.